Facebook was poignant this morning. One entry held moving van pictures that told the story of one of my mentors’ retirement from ministry and pending trek across the country. Another held last night’s testimony of a local friend in defense of their right to marry on the eve of their wedding; while it’s just love, most of us sacrifice at least some portion of our families in order to live true to our not-hetero loves. With every hello comes a goodbye.
Logically I understand it. If my fist is clench holding onto my baby’s hand, I cannot see the beauty of the adult one. If my day is filled with the rhythm and routine of parish ministry, I cannot feel the expansive spirit on this unstructured summer day. If I insist on familial blessing, I will be forever constrained to the limitations of the prior generation’s vision. If I’m clinging to the past, will never be ready for what lies ahead and I will miss the wonder of now.
I feel the tension in the posts of people that I love. I hear the hope and wonder, and too the sadness and loss. One of the travesties of our American mythology is the suggestion that emotions are singular or in the least dichotomous. The truth is that when life is lived most fully, cacophony is often the order of the day. When we dare to allow our minds and hearts to sing our most authentic song, paths will converge and diverge in unexpected and emotionally rich ways. Our attempts to synthesize the experience will succeed only to dull our senses.
Early in July, my own senses race with wonder and dread and hope and skepticism. Summer races and school is in the offing, my comfortable life continues with alarming regularity as society’s nets are shredding all around me. Increasingly I feel as though I exist on an island, certain only that what lies ahead is not. And yet, in this moment, the abundance of the earth is palpable… exquisitely hopeful. I’ll take it.
Today is what we have.
And, oh, so very very good.